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Thank You Ashcombe Village Club Posted on

The Trinity Sailing Foundation team wish to extend their thanks to the Ashcombe Village Club for their recent charitable donation.

Director Toby Russell paid the club a visit recently and was delighted to be presented with a £500 cheque.

He said: “The money will be used for bursaries which will in turn help local young people joining us for residential sail training. I want to thank the Ashcombe Village Club for their very generous support.”



Toby recieving donation to Trinity

Celebrating National Volunteers Week: Denning’s Story Posted on

It’s Volunteers’ Week across the UK and at the Trinity Sailing Foundation we would like to celebrate the hardworking people who give up their free time for us year-after-year.

Thank you to everyone who has volunteered for us since the charity was formed back in 1999. People like Helen Denning who is working with us this season.

Denning – as she likes to be called – was born in London, but has spent a lot of time in the USA and went to high school in the White Mountains of New Hampshire taking an unconventional secondary education path, rooted in experiential education which spawned an interest in sailing.

She said: “I studied science, history, English and math contextualised within life on a traditional sailing vessel in the Atlantic Ocean, or travelling across the American West by bus, bike, kayak and harness. I spent vacations gardening, farming and sailing on the Island of Martha’s Vineyard.”

Since the 20-year-old graduated high school, in 2013, she has been working and volunteering on historic sailing vessels and in wooden boatbuilding yards, in both the USA and UK, gaining skills as a traditional seafarer.  Denning plans to go to University, after her season with Trinity is over,  to study Marine Biology.

She said: “In the world of traditional sailing, volunteering is a natural thread along the pathway to becoming a good seafarer. Therefore, I seek out interesting projects, programmes and organisations to learn the skills of maintenance and seamanship that the crews onboard have to teach. On and below the decks of the old time sailing vessels are people with a lot of knowledge and wisdom to offer up and so I lend my hands and absorb as much as I can.

“I was drawn to Trinity because of the strong work ethic and appreciation of traditional maritime trades that the crew members, I knew, practiced.  I arrived, on my bicycle, during the second to last week of the winter refit and threw myself into some woodworking projects under the instruction of the skipper and mate.

“I felt appreciated for this work and helping with the preparations for sea during the following week. Making up the bunks, launching the dingy and provisioning Leader for her first voyage of the season. I understood immediately that I was taking part in crucial work to get a beautiful vessel to sea in a matter of days.

“The onboard community was made up of the professional crew and a constantly rolling selection of volunteers. Some who like myself were camped out in the berths up forward and others who came down regularly from their local abodes. People from all different backgrounds lifting, sealing, stowing and lashing together for the moment the crew would slip her warps and take her outside the comfort of a sheltered harbour.

“The orderly manner of a well run vessel during the day, gives the onboard community the luxury of a stress free evening when we pack up the tools and take turns in the galley to cook the evening meal. Soon I got into the routine of morning meetings and the little scraps of paper I carried around with me to remember my tasks. When the Spring sun fell over the palette of coastal cottages in the hills, I felt the distinct sense of accomplishment, something was sanded or painted or fastened or stowed away and another sail was bent on; Leader was on her way.

“I gained a lot from volunteering with the Trinity Sailing Foundation, I had a realisation about the reasons that cause me to work hard. I am working hard for myself of course, but it is not obvious why without that direct idea of being paid. I am working for skills, for an old vessel that needs care and attention, for the thrill and anticipation of adventure at sea, for the way sailing can introduce a person to a different lifestyle, for the way young people get enthused about that lifestyle. I work hard when I feel that I am needed and appreciated and that the tasks I perform are vital. I work hard in the hopes I will become a good sailor. I work hard when I am in a place of learning. Leader is such a place and I learned here, the effectiveness of working hard, or maybe “living” hard would be closer to the truth, when a community of people are organised, calm and happy.

“I benefited from my volunteering experience and I think the young trainees we had aboard during voyages did too, because there was one more personal involved with the working of the vessel, another person who was familiar with Leader because of those previous days of maintenance, who could help guide tasks like sail handling and knot tying. Another voice and another ear in the strange new environment of a 124 year old wooden sailing vessel at sea.

“These past few weeks have caused me to realise what I have to offer as both a pair of hands and a personality. On sunny days, pink misty evenings and starry nights, I felt prepared, useful and I was learning all the time. Volunteering at its finest.”

Everyone at Trinity Sailing would like to pass on their warm thanks to all those, like Denning, who have given up their time to help us over the past 16 years.


One for the Bucket List: Denmark to Scotland on Leader Posted on

We are a little over a month away till the main event in the adventure sailing calendar — the 2015 Tall Ships Races.

The three legs — covering Northern Ireland, Norway, and Denmark — are nearly sold out on Leader, however we have a fantastic voyage, for people of all ages, kicking-off in the final host port of Aalborg, in Denmark.

We are inviting people to join Leader, in Aalborg, on Monday, August 3, for the culmination of the Tall Ships festivities. There will be a huge final party with stacks going on: Live music, sporting events, great food, fireworks, ahead of the final parade of sail — an amazing spectacle as around 100 striking vessels from around the world head out the Danish port on their way home.

Leader will be in the thick of the action as she begins her own journey home. Once out of Danish waters, this will be a thrilling voyage as she crosses the North Sea on her way to the pretty Scottish coast, finishing off at the top of the Caledonian Canal.

There is still time to get on board, tick this one of your bucket list, and say to your friends and family that you have crossed the North Sea on a 123-year-old wooden sailing vessel.

Book your spot now on the eight-night voyage, (August 3 – 11) for just £695, by calling 01803 88 33 55, emailing, or book on our sailing holiday page. We still have limited availability on the three Tall Ships Legs for those aged 15- 25, call Harry in the office to find out more.

Tall Ships 2015

Renowned Wildlife Expert Joins Leader in 2015 Posted on

Trinity Sailing is delighted to announce that a renowned wildlife expert will be joining Leader for a specially-themed cruise this summer.

Kenny Taylor, who has worked with both the BBC and National Geographic, is heading the Wildlife Cruise in Oban with the regular Trinity crew.

The six-night cruise departs Oban on Saturday, August 22 and will be exploring picturesque ports and harbours around the west coast, as well stops in some pretty, not so well known, anchorages looking for a wide-range of a marine animals.

Kenny is hopeful there will be several chances throughout the week so a whole host of animals, from rare birds to basking sharks.

He said: “The chances are high of seeing Guillemots, Razorbills, Puffins and different Gulls on the water as they search for fish shoals.

“Close inshore, Black Guillemots — magnificent in their dark plumage and carmine beaks and legs — dive for Butterfish and make high-pitched, whistling calls.

“Sometimes flocks of Seabirds over one spot can show where there could be a Minke Whale — or even a couple of Minkes — feeding.

“Inshore, Harbour Porpoises are fairly widespread but a good challenge to see since they don’t stay at the surface for long.

“Both Bottlenose and Common Dolphins could decide to come and have a close look at Leader, bow-riding to match speed then powering away at a much greater rate of knots to show how fast you can really travel in these waters.

“Some calmer bays could give the chance of seeing a Basking Shark — the second largest fish in the world.

“This is prime territory for Scotland’s re-established population of Sea Eagles, birds that match the grandeur of the scenery with their two-metre wingspans.

“People onboard will be encouraged to keep scanning the skies for both Sea Eagles and Golden Eagles, and for a range of other raptors –not least the nationally scarce Hen Harrier.

“Some of the islands – especially Jura – are excellent for Red Deer, which look great on ridges against the sky when seen from the sea. Wild Goats on moorlands and Otters in the inshore are other land mammal possibilities.

“Ashore, this is prime time for orchids in bloom and I will have a look to find a variety of species. Also if the weather turns really calm, and hot, part of the ocean magic of these waters can come with blooms of phosphorescent algae. These turn into sparkles of yellow-green fire at night.”

To book a place on Leader’s Wildlife Cruise, call Harry in the Trinity office on 01803 88 33 55, email, or complete our online booking form. (LIMITED AVAILABILITY).

Golden Eagle

Tall Ships Races 2015: Kristiansand to Aalborg Posted on

Are you thinking of joining Leader for the 2015 Tall Ships Races?


After the first race from Belfast, and the cruise-in-company leg across western Norway, she will be arriving in the Norwegian town of Kristiansand where the crew will be soaking up the festival atmosphere before the second race to Aalborg, in Denmark.

The Tall Ships Races are now just under two months away and the organisers in Kristiansand have released a short promotional video giving young people more idea about what to expect on the southern Norwegian coast when they arrive.

Spaces are now extremely limited across all three legs, call us on 01803 88 33 55 to check availability or book before it’s too late.

For information and prices, head to our Tall Ships Races 2015 page.

Leader Tall Ships

Final Chance to Own Signed Provident Print Posted on

A limited edition print of Brixham sailing trawler Provident, thought to be the last available of its kind, has gone under the hammer to raise money for the Trinity Sailing Foundation.

The stunning signed print, titled simply “Provident” by well-respected artist Michael Lees, had a limited number of 850 prints and it is thought this is the last available copy.

Mr Lees has produced several maritime-themed pieces of artwork, which have been endorsed by the likes of Sir Robin Knox-Johnson.

He said: “Michael Lees’ painting shows that he is one of those rare artists who is able to capture the moods of the sea and ships.”

Two prints — which are signed copies number 550 and 551 — were kindly passed on to Trinity by keen sailor and Devon man Ian Grimble who said he would like to see all of the proceeds go towards the boats’ upkeep.

The other print, number 550, was sold last week — with all the proceeds going to the Trinity Sailing Foundation — so this is the last chance if you would like to own an original signed print.

You can make a bid, via eBay, with the auction going live today (Friday, May 1st) and lasting for 10 days

You can place bids HERE

To learn more about the work of Michael Lees and his exclusive prints please visit

Provident - Michael Lees

Auction Open for Limited Edition Signed Provident Print Posted on

Two limited edition Provident prints, thought to be last available of their kind, are to go under the hammer to raise money for the Trinity Sailing Foundation.

The stunning signed prints titled simply “Provident” by well-respected artist Michael Lees had a limited number of 850 prints and it thought these are the last two available.

Mr Lees has produced several maritime-themed pieces of artwork, which have been endorsed by the likes of Sir Robin Knox-Johnson.

He said: “Michael Lees’ painting shows that he is one of those rare artists who is able to capture the moods of the sea and ships.”

The two prints — which are signed copies number 550 and 551 — were kindly passed on to Trinity by keen sailor and Devon man Ian Grimble who said he would like to see all of the proceeds go towards the boats’ upkeep.

You can make a bid for the prints, via eBay, during two auctions, with the first going live today (Friday, April 17th) and lasting for 10 days. The second sale will begin on Friday, May 1st and also last for 10 days so there will be two opportunities for you to get in the highest bid.

You can place bids HERE

To learn more about the work of Michael Lees and his exclusive prints please visit




Provident - Michael Lees

BBC Filming Day with Trinity Posted on

A television crew from the BBC have spent the day filming on board Trinity Sailing’s oldest vessel.

The crew from Spotlight — the regional news programme for the south west — spent more than four hours on board 1892-built vessel Leader on Tuesday (April 14).

Trinity’s crew took the television team on a short sail, in glorious spring sunshine, around Torbay. Eagle-eyed viewers might have seem some footage on last night’s bulletin, where shots of Leader were shown during the weather.

Spotlight were filming a piece on board to go with a feature they are working on focusing on how the General Election outcome will affect people in south Devon.

Harry Gottschalk, Trinity’s Office & Sales Manager, said: “No date has been set when the footage will air, but we expect to see it on screens next week. We will keep people updated on our three social media sites when we know more.”

You can view last night’s episode on BBC iPlayer here until 6pm tonight.

BBC Spotlight filming on Leader

Mate’s Blog: Leader’s Back to Sea Posted on

Trinity’s crew have finished their first sail of the 2015 season taking a boat full of guests on a weekend trip around the Devon coastline. By all accounts, a great time was had and Leader is now out with a sail training group until Friday.

Leader’s new mate, Stan, is sharing how things are going for him, and his team, throughout the season and here’s how the first few days have been:

“We’re finally back to sea! On Good Friday Leader rounded Brixham’s breakwater for the first time since November last year for her first trip of the season — a three day Easter cruise.

“Day one saw gusty conditions, averaging around force six. After briefings the crew helped us reef down our main sail and hoist our number two jib in stops. Even with this conservative sail plan we were flying up the coast and bearing away out of Torbay, before gybing, and heading back in to anchor just outside Torquay in very flat but windy conditions.

“The breeze moderated overnight and, after some careful prep the next morning, we hoisted the anchor under sail and headed west past Berry Head. We thundered on round under number two jib, staysail, reefed main and reefed mizzen. The wind eased over lunch and, after another slick gybe, we headed into the River Dart.

“We kept the sails up in the fluky winds past Kingswear, dodging gig racers. We carried on up a couple of miles to the riverside village of Dittisham where our now well-drilled guests quickly dropped the entire rig as we slowly cruised back downstream to Dartmouth.

“After a quick run ashore for showers, our cook Anne served an amazing dinner of roast pork belly followed by a huge Easter egg birthday cake for one of our guests. After Happy Birthday was sung, our Bosun, Martin, carried on with a few shanties before we all headed out to sample some of Dartmouth’s watering holes.

“Sunday was the last day of this short voyage and, after a very welcome eggs benedict before (thanks Anne!), we made our way back to Brixham past Man Sands and St Mary’s beach.

“The last couple of days have been an amazing start to the season, thanks to all our guests for a brilliant trip. We would love to have you back on board again!”



Refit Blog: The Final Countdown Posted on

Trinity’s crew, and a team of volunteers, are busy getting the boats ready for the 2015 season with just over a week to go before the first voyage.

Leader’s new mate, Stan, is sharing how things are going for him and his team, and here’s how the refit went last week:

“Eight days until we go back to sea! The crew are all ready to go and Leader is not far behind.

“She went onto the grid last weekend to be cleaned and have a fresh coat of antifoul. Despite a 4am. start we had loads of volunteers (Anna, Lucy, Andy, Ross, Jeremy, Maddie, Elise and Teymour) down to help us out. As soon as the tide was out far enough not to come over the top of our wellies the guys were down under the boat, pressure washing, scraping, drying and painting. No one stopped for longer than it took to stuff a pasty down until the tide was back lapping around our feet. A brilliant effort from everyone.

“Now we are once again back on our pontoon, making Leader look as good as she should. Capping rails are being varnished, boxes painted and lines served. Last year’s National Historic Ships apprentice, Denning, has been down to help us out, fixing our sticking engine hatch and boxing off the last of our new water system.

“Unfortunately Teymor is now on leave for a short while, but he will be back to sail with us in the summer. Kath has come down to help us out and is currently repainting the wheel box.

“We are back to sea on Good Friday (April 3) but if you would like to come and give us a hand, finishing her off and varnishing on deck, we would love to have you down. As ever you are welcome to stay the night and eat with us. Just give Matt, or Harry, a ring on 01803 883355, to arrange a date.”


Cleaning and Painting Leader's hull